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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0901

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0901

Automotive powered by

Automotive powered by sunshine Phylla – Last summer the Northern Italian Region of Piedmont presented its ‘Veicolo Urbano Multi-Ecologico e Sostenibile’ (Multi-ecological City Car) project ‘Phylla’. The innovative, zero-emission concept car, that captures solar energy to power its electric motors, presents many environment friendly technologies. It was developed by CRF (Fiat Research Centre) and designed by two Turin-based colleges - Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) and Istituto di Arte Applicata e Design IAAD. The 2+2 seat sub-A-segment concept car is only 2.99 metres long and weighs about 750 kg. It has a lightweight body consisting of an aluminium frame and outer trim components made of a bioplastic material from Novamont. One special feature of the vehicle is its flexible ‘split-frame’ architecture, where the passenger cabin is separated from the frame. This makes it possible to use different body styles on the same platform. The bioplastic materials support the lightweighting of the car and in addition take into account the EU Directive scheduled to come into force in mid 2010. This Directive demands that all new vehicles must be up to 85% recyclable and up to 95% reusable. As most of the plastics used for the Phylla are either compostable or recyclable these specifications can be easily fulfilled. The car is propelled by solar-powered, electric battery motors that drive all four of its wheels. That is one of the reasons for the name ‘Phylla’ which means ‘leaf‘ in ancient Greek and communicates its ability to convert solar light into energy. The range of the Phylla of approximately 145 km with a lithium ion battery can be boosted to 220 km when a lithium polymer battery is used. In addition to the bioplastics for the car body Novamont has contributed to the design of this innovative vehicle by providing its technology and experience in the manufacture of bio-tyres. Using renewable resources of agricultural origin Novamont has created a bio-filler which replaces the carbon black and silica of traditional tyres, guaranteeing innumerable advantages from the economic and environmental points of view. Even with ‘traditional’ cars the new Novamont tyres save on fuel consumption thanks to their lower rolling resistance (over €150 savings on 15,000 km driven in a year). They also reduce tread wear and CO 2 emissions (10 g/km) and thus atmospheric pollution, as well as combating noise and noise pollution and lowering levels of energy used in the manufacturing process. Technically, the tyre weight is also reduced and safety performance improved thanks to excellent road-holding in wet conditions. The multi-ecological city car project is perfectly in line with the mission of Novamont, which has from the outset striven to provide solutions to the urgent problems of environmental pollution by using renewable resources of agricultural origin, minimising post-manufacture waste by-products and developing low environmental impact processes. www.regione.piemonte.it www.novamont.com www.fiatgroup.com 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/09] Vol. 4

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